Local Charity – RAM and Wesner Automotive Annual Toy Drive

Annual Toy Drive at Wesner Automotive, Photo from Wesner Automotive Facebook page

A Time of Giving in Buchanan

by Rebecka Hoyt, Editor & Photographer, and featuring a video by Stephanie Fain

This Christmas was a little more special for some Buchanan families. Redbud Area Ministries (RAM) held a toy drive at Wesner Automotive in Buchanan. All of these toys, clothes, and wrapping paper were donated by the very generous hearts of the citizens, organizations and businesses in Buchanan, MI and surrounding areas.

RAM and Wesner Automotive Annual Toy Drive donated items, Photos by Rebecka Hoyt
RAM and Wesner Automotive Annual Toy Drive donated items, Photos by Rebecka Hoyt

On Saturday, December 18, 2021 at 9AM, parents came to the Redbud City Center and were able to shop for their families for free. Parents fill out an application at RAM prior to this day in order to participate. When the parent(s) arrive, a volunteer shopper will go along with them to pick out presents for their children. Yes, some families have more than one child, so each child has their own black bag (so when they bring them home, the kids won’t see what’s in them) with a name label attached to it. Each child receives the same amount of gifts. This year, RAM “Gave presents to 175 kids!” stated Jan Nowalk-Walters, Director of RAM. When the parents were done shopping they received a local gift card to either McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Walmart.

RAM’s Jan Nowak-Walters distributing items for Christmas, Photo by Rebecka Hoyt

In order to give presents to families each year, RAM hits up the after holiday toys sales with the monetary donations they receive from businesses like: Dollar General, Pinnacle Emporium, Edgewater Automation, Cannavista, Meijer, churches & businesses. Gene Wesner started the Toys for Tots at his dealership 41 years ago, and Jan has been with RAM for 4 years but involved with this event for the past 15 years. Wesner’s storefront window is where RAM puts the toys as there isn’t enough space at RAM for them. Then all the toys get loaded up by RAM’s volunteers and taken to the city center the day prior to the shopping event. After you have seen these photos, it takes a big crew to put this on. When asked, what do you get out of doing this, a RAM volunteer stated, “I have never seen God so much at work when people from the community bring in donations.”

RAM and Wesner Automotive Annual Toy Drive donated items, Photos by Rebecka Hoyt

So Buchanan, give yourselves a pat on the back and thank the businesses that have helped RAM with this event. You truly come through with your time and caring hearts. We hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas!

Buchanan Continues to Give, YouTube video by Stephanie Fain

About Redbud Area Ministries: RAM is an interdenominational and interracial ministry center started to organize the churches in the Buchanan and Galien School Districts to respond to individual and family needs.

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